Northampton council house provider moves to allay fears that the £2.1million spent on 10-flat extension is over budget

Issues have included disruption to current tenants, and the steel frame manufacturer for the roof extension going into liquidation earlier this year

By Logan MacLeod
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:44 pm

A Northampton council house provider has moved to allay fears that a project to build a 10-flat extension to one of its buildings is over budget.

Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) had plans approved in 2019 to build two extra floors comprising of 10 one-bed flats to its Woodstock building in Cliftonville, Billing Road.

The council house provider, owned by West Northamptonshire Council, said in 2019 that its aim is to 'add to the town's social housing stock by building upwards rather than outwards'.

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Woodstock in Cliftonville, Billing Road is having a two-storey extension to accommodate 10 new council flats

However, since construction started, issues have included disruption to current tenants, and the steel frame manufacturer for the roof extension going into liquidation earlier this year.

Winston Williams, NPH director of asset management, said: “It’s unfortunate for everyone affected that the steel frame manufacturer for the roof extension at Woodstock has gone into liquidation, especially those residents who have experienced disruption during the works.

"The good news however is that the manufacturer is under new management and the steel frame construction for Woodstock is back in progress.

"We are unable to confirm a completion date at this time due to this issue that was beyond our control."

Mr Williams added: "The cost of the project quoted includes not only 10 brand new homes, but upgrades to the existing building.

"A new energy efficient communal boiler system has been installed, internal and external improvement works have been carried out, the car park will be extended and most importantly we have upgraded fire safety features across the whole building to ensure that we comply with new Building Safety Act regulations.”

One disgruntled resident of Woodstock, who wishes to remain anonymous, submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking NPH if it has gone over its budget.

The resident asked: "Is information held on public overspend on the rooftop building works at Woodstock? I was told that the project was so far over budget that it would have been cheaper to demolish the site and build from scratch owing to the mistakes, delays and substandard work."

NPH replied to the resident on Tuesday, June 14, saying: "To date, the contract price for works at Woodstock £2.1m and is within the budget.

"The budget price to demolish the existing building and rebuild to provide 56 new one-bed apartments would be £8 - £10million."

The unhappy resident added: “It’s been a nightmare for everyone, but especially those on the top floor. Our welfare is completely ignored. NPH never should have been allowed to perform this work while people lived below.

"There are signs around the site claiming, ‘we are considerate constructors’. It’s a bad joke.”

NPH has been asked what its budget is for the entirety of the works.

As well as Woodstock, NPH is currently adding two new floors comprising of 10 one-bed flats to Dover Court in St James’ Road opposite Westbridge Garage as part of social housing provision in the town.